pilipinas landscape

pilipinas landscape

Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 78

Hello everybody!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Man am I so grateful for the new year ahead.
I am excited to tell you about Christmas in the Philippines as I am sure many of you may be anxious to know how Christmas is here.

Well in short the Filipinos love Christmas! Christmas time is marked here by paper star decorations and kids caroling in the street, lights and karaoke and lots and lots of good food! 
It is such a fun time and a great time to be a missionary as I don't think I have ever had more food in my life! hahaha.
The people here are wonderful. I wish that I had the chance to bring you here and see the wonderful lessons that they are teaching me of service and of love and of humility and faith.
Yesterday, I spoke in sacrament meeting. As soon as I walked into the sacrament hall President Somera asked me if I would speak in 5 minutes. I was a bit worried, I had no time to prepare but I prayed. I asked that I would be able to speak with the power of the Holy Ghost and that I would be able to touch the lives of the people. I had no idea that I would be the one that would learn from the words I would say. 
I shared the story of Christ walking on the sea of Galilee and Peter following him. It was a very tender experience for me as I realized the trials in the lives of these faithful saints who travel so far to go to church. Sometimes they have to chose between having money to get to church or money for their meal that night. It is such great faith I see that makes me marvel. I love them so much.  And as I spoke, I felt a glimpse of the pain and heaviness that they feel and I started to get emotional. I know that just as the saints here in Gabaldon, no matter the sacrifice and the pain we go through now, that the joy and peace that will come here after is so much greater!
God loves us and He is guiding us as we choose to look to him!

As we look to a New Year let us strive to grow and become better servants and disciples of Christ. I know that as we do what we can and look to our Savior Jesus Christ we have no need to fear, but can believe! I love the joy of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I love you all!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 77

Hello Family!

Merry Christmas! I hope you all find peace and joy this week! "For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulders and his name shall be called: Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isiah 9:6) I love that scripture! It makes me rejoice in the Savior that He was born to save you and me and all men from sin, sorrow and death! 
Well this week was crazy. This week we experienced some really crazy weather.  Typhoon Melor was supposed to hit the lower part of the Philippines but also made some heavy impact up here in central Luzon. We experienced alot of heavy rains which caused a lot of flooding especially in the the parts close to the rivers here. Many houses were damaged and flooded and we even saw two that were swept away.  Some people had to evacuate to higher ground because their houses were flooded. The effects were pretty bad but not as bad as typhoon Lando this last October. One obstacle that we had this week was that on the other side of one of the rivers here in Gabaldon live most of the members and all of our investigators. The bridge was broken so we were unable to cross. For most of the week we were unable to visit our investigators, even until now. Most of our members couldn't even come to church because the water was to high and fast moving that they couldn't cross the river.
As bad as this seems many good things happened this week. I hope that this email is positive and uplifting as that is my aim.
First we had the baptismal interview of Levi! The day before the storm, He is so ready! I am so pleased in the change we have seen in him. Even though we couldn't cross the river we were able to call our investigators a few time to check how they are doing. Aiza one of our wonderful and very progressing investigators with great faith has struggled to decide if she was ready for baptism. When we called her this week she told us that she feels ready now and wants to be baptized with brother Levi. Also we are teaching this elderly man who just radiates with spiritual power his name is Seriaco and he is the father of the relief society president here. He will also be baptized with them! I am so happy with the work here. One other little miracle is we are teaching a brother who is very influential here in Gabaldon and was the mayor for 20+ years. He is reading the Book of Mormon and came to church last Sunday! I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost. 
What a great day to be alive! What a wonderful season to be a part of God's work, What a great time of light and opportunity to live in, with modern revelation and technology! We live in a time of wickedness and disaster but also a time of great light! I am learning lately in my mission to look of the good in every situation.
I know that just as the flood victims sought higher ground to escape danger we too must do the same to escape the flood of wickedness that is over the earth. Lets seek higher ground, the Temple, and also seek ways we can help others get to the temple too. 

I love you all so much! 

Maligayang Pasko!


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Week 76

Hello Family and Friends!

This week was great! It went by so fast!
Elder Dala and I are working very hard and have been blesses with some great investigators. We are enjoying the Christmas spirit which is very prevalent here in the Philippines! One thing that I love about being a missionary at this time of year is that I have the chance just like the shepherds who saw the angel and share the glad tidings of great joy! I have the privilege to be a servant of a King and serve Jesus Christ. I think of all of the giving, receiving and service associated with service and it reminds me of a wonderful passage of scripture: 
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25:37–40.)
Bro. Levi is getting ready for his baptism this week. He is so strong and is very excited for his baptism. He told us how many times he had met missionaries because his daughter joined the church before him but every time he talked to the missionaries he didn't want to change. But this time he let the spirit witness to him the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! We are looking forward to his baptism.

Sorry things are short on time but I just want you all to know, All is well! This is the work of Salvation! 
Go help those that are hanging down!
I love you all,


Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 75

Hello Family and Friends!

Maligayang Pasko! That is Merry Christmas in Tagalog. It is a great time of the year to remember Jesus Christ and man do Filipinos love Christmas time. It is really fun to see all the decorations and the lights and hear the little kids carol in the streets. Christmas is here. Us missionaries are having a lot of fun sharing #isinalangangtagapagligtas (what a long hash tag, haha) A Savior is born! I love the video! It is even more beautiful in Tagalog! If you haven't seen the video yet, you can watch it at christmas.mormon.org. I invite all of you to discover why a Savior was born. For me, he was born to give me hope, peace, forgiveness, and joy and the list could go on, I could fill a book! But the truth is, words cannot describe the gratitude I have for the gift the Savior gave me and you, the gift to change through the Atonement.
Speaking of change, here is a story about one of our investigators who is preparing for baptism in the next few weeks.
Bro Levi is a retired solider and a father.  He loves his family very much, and wants so much for his family to be guided by God. We invited him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and he did so hesitantly at first but then grew to love the Book of Mormon. Often in lessons he testifies to us of the power it has and how it has changed his life so far. Before he was very shy, and had a hard time speaking his mind but now he is so different and has a great confidence. You can see that he is truly happy now. He is living the Word of Wisdom now, and he loves the Book of Mormon and has encouraged his wife to read it and she has started to read the Book of Mormon too! It is so wonderful it is hard to explain but you can just see the change that happens as people live what they learn!
I know that adversity comes as we live the gospel but through adversity we grow and we become closer to our loving Heavenly Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ. No power or influence on this earth or beneath can separate ourselves from the testimony we treasure unless we willfully give it up. 
I love Christmas! I am grateful for all of you!
I encourage you all to share the Gift with those you love! The Gift of hope that God gave us, Jesus Christ!

Until next week,


Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 74

Hello Family and Friends

It sounds like you had a awesome Thanksgiving! I wish I could have tasted the delicious turkey and enjoy the pumpkin pie, but my Thanksgiving was great! Fortunately for me there was a fiesta here in Gabaldon on Friday and all the members in the Barangay or neighborhood cooked delicious Filipino food for us, like spagetti with sweet Filipino sauce and baruyas which are deep fried scones with a sweet mongo bean filling. Also there was delicious ube dishes and also biko which is a sweet dish made by sticky rice and coconut. As you can tell Filipinos like their sweets! hahaha. We were able to celebrate the fiesta at Martin's house which was really fun! We of course also had rice with one of my favorite ulam which is afritada! If you have any questions about any of this is just google it! hahaha.... 
We had a beautiful baptism onSaturday, Sister Jane was super ready and bore a beautiful testimony. The youngwomen in the branch sang "When I was baptized". The one that talks about the earth being clean by rain. It had special meaning because during the whole service it was raining. She was very excited to experience what Jesus Christ did as she was baptized in a river. 
One cool thing that she did even before her baptism was working on her personal progress. It was really neat as she has already memorized half of The Living Christ.
We are blessed so much in this area. I am excited to tell you next week about some of our other investigators and the miracles that are happening as they become converted to Jesus Christ.
The best compliment that I have ever received in my mission was during the baptismal service of Jane when she said that she loves her Savior and she is grateful to us for helping her know Him.
Words cannot explain the gratitude I have for this opportunity.

I love you all,


PS. Special thanks to Uncle Monte & Aunt Megan and their family for the awesome package and letters! You rock! I loved reading all the letters. You inspire me! :)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week 73

Hello Family and Friends!

It is happy to email you all once more!
This week we have been blessed so much as we have watched people make changes to come unto Christ!
Jane's baptism is coming up this week and we are so excited. She is truly converted and it has been amazing to see the role of the Book of Mormon in her conversion. The Book of Mormon is so powerful. I know that it is the word of God. I invite everyone to read it, it will change your life! It has changed and is changing mine. 
This week I was able to finish it again, Every time I read from it's pages I just know that it is true.
People may try to disprove it by worldly means but they cannot take away the truth that comes by the witness of the Holy Ghost. I know that the promise found in Moroni 10:3-5 is true.
I would like to briefly tell you a experience that I had here in the mission that has forever change my testimony of the Book of Mormon.
We had just finished teaching about Joseph Smith to one of our investigators when her brother walked in. We soon learned that he was a pastor of another religion. I was intimated as he was studying the Holy Bible at a secular school. I knew his intention was to disprove the things I knew to be true. I began to tremble at his snares and cunning words. I then suddenly remember the promise that I will not be confounded before men. I opened the Book of Mormon to Moroni 10:4-5 and read these words to him:
4.     And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true ; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power... 
5.And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
As I read these words I felt the Holy Ghost fill me, I felt in a way as I imagine Abinadi felt as he stood in front of wicked King Noah.  After I read this the pastor was quiet. I shut the book of Mormon, handed a copy to him and invited him to read it. We then told him we would pray and quietly left. I left with that spirit still in my heart.
I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I humbly testify to all of you.
But I just wanted to share my experience with you and invite you all to read the Book of Mormon. It doesn't matter how many times you may have read it. Please read it :)
I love you all so much! Thanks for your prayers and support!


Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 72

Family and Friends,

Well I am short on time this week, but would like to share with all of you the gratitude that is in my heart at this time as it is close to thanksgiving.

This week we have seen great progress in our area! We have had new investigators go to church. And were able to watch Bro. Martin and his younger brother bless and pass the sacrament! It is hard to explains the feeling that accompany watching someone truly come unto Christ. I am also very grateful that I have the chance to be a instrument and representative of Jesus Christ. There is nothing else I would rather be doing at this time. The privilege of wearing the name tag and also sharing my testimony with others is a divine gift from God.
I thank all of you for your kindness and your support as I serve here and ask you all to continue to pray for the people here and encourage you all to pray for opportunities to share the gospel with your friends.
I love you all dearly,


Picture: My companion and I with our branch mission leader. Helping rebuild his house after Typhoon Lando

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 71

Hello Family,

This week was great!
We are having great progress here!
The Martin family, the family we baptized last week has been doing so well, participating in Sunday school and priesthood classes, paying tithing and just thriving in the gospel of Jesus Christ! One very special moment was when both Gringo (Peter's real name) and Marvin recieved the Aaronic Priesthood! It was very exciting to watch.
I love seeing families be blessed by living the gospel and that is the whole reason why we are here on earth, it is to learn and grow in families and prove our faithfulness so that we may return to God's presence and recieve all His blessings!
I love my family very much and am very grateful for them, especially my parents, for the love and the things they have taught me.
This week I learned the affect of The Book of Mormon on family life.
One of our investigators Jane, is a normal teenager here and has normal fights occasionally with her parents. But, she has told us as she has read the book of Mormon she has seen a huge difference at home and has had greater peace and has become closer to her mother. After her father died she became distant from her mother, but through studying of the book of Mormon she has seen a change in herself and has started to do things that she had never done before to serve and help others around her. Her mother too has noticed the change and has agreed to listen next time we teach Jane. It just feels my heart with gratitude for the converting power of the Book of Mormon. I am grateful personally for the Book of Mormon in my life as it has shaped me and made me the person that I am today, and it will continue to shape me and my decisions in the future.
If we read and apply the writings of the prophets in the Book of Mormon we will be given the power to change our lives for good.
I know the book of Mormon is true!  I read it day after day and everyday I find new nuggets of knowlege and revelation for me to use daily.
I also read the Holy Bible and know that both the Bible and the Book of Mormon contain the gospel. We need them both to know what we must do to return to our Father in Heaven.

I love you all. I love this work! We are all responsible to share the gospel to the world, as children of Israel and as a part of the Abrahamic covenant!

Mahal kita!


Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 70

Hello Family and Friends,

This week was really great.
We have continued to help with the clean up of typhoon Lando.
This week we spent one day helping build the house of our branch mission leader. His house sadly was completely destroyed in the the storm.
It was fun however because of my little experience in that sort of thing.
His house was made out of bamboo with a thatched roof. I wish I could send pictures but the Internet is slow today so next week.

We have found some new families that we have been blessed to work with and have seen great help from the amazing members here.
It has been so rewarding to see that we really are one in the work of the Lord. No matter who we are, we all know people who need the gospel in their lives, we all have friends who are ready to hear the gospel.

I am very grateful for the time I have been able to serve here in Gabaldon. I love this area. I love the people here.

One interesting thing here is that people do not really celebrate Halloween, but celebrate something similar to Memorial day. Everyone, I mean everyone, goes to the cemetery to remember their dead. At night they put candles for each of the their family members who had past-on on a table with their favorite food and water and so on. It is a very interesting and a superstitious belief. They believe that the dead come down to earth once a year on Nov. 1.
I thought it was interesting. Filipinos are very family oriented and that is one thing I love about them.
They love to each together, and that is one thing that is true they love to feed the missionaries!
They have great respect of the elderly and a way to show your respect to an older person is by taking their right hand and putting it to your forehead.
The culture here is wonderful. Very respectful hospitable and very family friendly.
One example of this is the word "po" there is no English translation but literally is a word that adds respect to what you are saying.

I love the Philippines. The people are very kind and very service oriented.

I thank the Lord for blessing me to be apart of the people here for a short time of my life.

I love you all. I pray for you.
I promise that people are waiting for you to share the gospel, I encourage you to open your mouth.

Mahala kita,


Monday, October 26, 2015

WEEK 69- typhoon clean up and Baptism!

Hello Everyone!

Well this week was interesting! We were able to help clean up the typhoon and get back to work teaching people the gospel.

We also had a baptism! it was really a neat one because we had it performed in the river, or ilog in Tagalog. One quick interesting cultural fact is that Tagalog actually means taga-from and ilog-river. So it means- "the people from the river" Anyway, I learned that this week and thought I would share it with you.

The baptism was the brother of Bro. Martin, and it was really cool to see them come and support him.
The spirit was very strong and it was really neat to watch Elder Dala baptize for the first time in his mission. I really feel close to my companion. He is so kind and fun to be with. The thing I love about him is how much he wants to serve the Lord and is teachable, always looking for ways to improve. He has a bright future as a missionary.

The typhoon caused us to have no power for more than a week, but just earlier today we were able to gain power again! I feel like I will appreciate electricity a little more after not having running water or electricity for a week! :) It was a good experience for us.

One thing I am learning is that we should be grateful not only when things are going the way we want or plan but that we should thank the Lord in all things! Even when we are struggling or when we think things are not going the way it should. If we trust the Lord that all flesh is in his hands and that he loves us. We may not see everything that is ahead of us, but we can trust and be grateful for the many blessing that our loving Father gives us everyday.

Many people are wondering how they are going to feed their families as the typhoon washed out almost all of their crops. It is sad to see but it has been really neat to see how the church has responded. The church is very generous and has been giving a lot of free food and drinking water to the people here. It has been fun to see trucks full of food with members wearing yellow helping hands jerseys giving food to the people here. Because we have a lot of work to do teaching, we have not taken much part in that activity, but it has be fun to observe the positive impact it has had on the people here.

I am very grateful for the time I have to serve. I know that serving a mission has been a great privilege that the Lord is giving me. I wouldn't trade it for anything! I encourage all who can to serve a mission and see how it will change not only the lives of those you teach but your life.
I have seen here how small we really are and how insignificant we are to the world, but how much our Father in Heaven loves each and everyone of us. We are precious to Him. I invite each of you to pray in gratitude to Him for all he has blessed you with and I promise you that you will feel His love!

I love you all. I ask you to pray for the people here as they find ways to feed and provide for their families.
Thank you for your support and prayers on my behalf.

Yours truly,



Baptism of Marvin!
A bridge that was broken in our area
Storm out my window

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Week 68- Typhoon Koppu/Lando

Family & Friends

Well this week we survived a super typhoon! As some of you know last weekend we had a huge storm hit us here in Angeles mission. It was predicted to be a signal 3 which is the second highest but actually became a signal no. 4! It has caused a lot of damage in Gabaldon as we are close to the coast. We do not have power and may not have power for a whole month! Luckily there is a Internet shop with a generator or I wouldn't be able to email ya'll. :)
Man parts of the road have been torn up and a few main bridges have been broken. But the worse damage has been to the crops here as all the rice and vegetable fields have been wiped clean. They were very close to harvest which makes it even more of a loss.
We were able to stay in our apartment and for four days we were not permitted to leave. We had two elders from Dingalan  which is right on the coast stay with us. 
Everyone in Gabaldon is safe and I know that is the most important thing.
This morning we went and helped clean up the mess. We went to the Martins house, our recent convert friends and soon found out that a tree had landed on a part of their house. They live right in front of a river so they had waist high floods in their house. They are safe and we spent this morning clearing and chopping trees and branches that had fallen in the storm.

All of this reminded me of the great truth in Helaman 5:12

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundationthat when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is sure foundation, foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

I know that this is true! My companion who is Filipino told me that the reason the trees fell is because they did not have strong roots. The roots were not deep enough, but they were shallow. Such is true with us. If our faith in Jesus Christ is casual, shallow or superficial when trials and spiritual storms and whirlwinds come we will fall, but as we build our foundation in Jesus Christ and his gospel and deepen our roots every day with prayer and scripture study and service, we will be strong and like the trees that withstood the storm we will withstand all kinds of trials of our faith.
We have a baptism coming up this week! It is the Brother of Peter Martin! Even with the storm, the Lord's work goes on!

Mahal kita,,


After Clean up at family Martin

The field with the river all used to be rice fields :( 
 Typhoon Lando made a huge impact here in this part of the Phillippines

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 67

Hello Family and Friends!

Man what a great week! This week was very eventful for us with a transfer, baptism, new companion, and conference!

On Wednesday I learned that I am training again! It was kind of a shock. I miss Elder Aldridge. We were really good friends and I learned so much from him. He really taught me how to be patient and enjoy the journey of mission life. Even though we were together for only a short time I really felt like it was so critical for my learning to be with him. 
So anyway, my new companion is Elder Dala. He is from Cagayan De Oro city Mindanao. He is fresh from the MTC and is very excited about being a missionary. He has really great potential and will be a great missionary, I can already see it in him. His first language is Cebuano which is hard because he is learning Tagalog as a second language too. He is the 6th missionary in his family and his Dad is the bishop in their ward. 
I have really enjoyed getting to know him and look forward to serving with him! :)

So I have to also tell you about the Martins wonderful baptism! 
It was so wonderful. Words cannot really describe the great wonderful feeling that accompanies watching a well prepared and converted family be baptized and confirmed! We were rejoicing and I am sure that many angels were rejoicing with us. The branch was very good at supporting the new family and many came to the baptismal service.
Both Bro and Sister Martin bore beautiful testimonies. Brother Martin shared his incredible story of how he knew the Book of Mormon was true. It was a witness to me that visions and revelation really do happen today. He told us that in a dream  the Savior told him the Book of Mormon was true and that he should read it all. WOW! Then right after I baptized Bro. Martin, their little two year old boy Francis ran up to me and gave me a big leg hug. It made me smile, and in my opinion he was in his own way saying thank you for bring his parents and him to the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love this family so much, and I am so grateful for the great blessing the Lord has given me to teach them! It is hard to describe how I feel.
I learned at transfers that Rogehelyo and Paulino from my last area both received the Aaronic Priesthood and that Rogehelyo is passing the sacrament every week! :) 
The Lord is here in Gabaldon, and he is with each of us. I know that he will help each of us as we do what we can, and trust that he will make up for what we lack.

I loved conference! Man so much to learn.
Here is my ponderize verse for this week. D&C 19:23

Love you all so much

Mahal kita,

Elder Murdock

Martins baptism with me and  Elder Aldridge.

Me and my new companion Elder Dala.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 66

Hello Family~

Things are really great! I have felt so many blessings. This week we have had wonderful success with finding and in preparing others for baptism.

We had quite the miracle happen, one day a few weeks ago we were just walking around our focused neighborhood trying to open our mouth and find new people to teach. As we did we were approached by a women who had seen us in the neighborhood. She asked us if we could teach her and straight up told us the days when she was available. This has never happened ever in my mission! It was really weird. So this week we taught this woman and her name is Mileth and she is very prepared. she has a daughter that is 11 and they both have a baptismal goal date for November. It is so awesome to be a part of teaching families! I love it so much.
So one of the lessons her cousin Jane hesitantly decided to listen. As we taught her she felt the spirit and we gave her a lesson one pamphlet and she read the whole thing. Without our instruction and without us teaching about Joseph Smith yet, she read in the pamphlet that she should pray to know if Joseph Smith is true prophet of God. As she did that with simple new found faith she received an answer by the Holy Ghost. Sometimes I feel like our job is almost too easy! Hahaha... It really shows the Lord does not need us 19 year old kids to do his work. He can and does His work. It is fun to witness and be a part of conversion.

So another great news is about Martin family! They are so wonderful and it is so great to see them choose conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They will be baptized this week and I am thrilled to be a part of it and I am so happy for them. The best part is when we taught them about temples. They were so thrilled about going to the temple. 
Every time I teach them and am around them, I just think of their two little children and think of the impact the Gospel is making and will make on their lives and I just feel pure joy for them.
I know that the Gospel is for families. I feel like the harvest I have had on my mission has been so great already. The Lord is blessing us, I feel like His blessings just keep on coming and coming. Sometimes I don't feel worthy of all the many things he has given me. :) I know that blessings come from obedience, but we don't have to be perfect we just have to keep on trying.

I promise I will send pictures next week of the baptism! 
Super excited about Conference and no I have not seen it yet. Erg, I want to see it now hahaha.

Mahal kita


Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 65

Hello Family friends! 

I would first like to give a shout out to all those that have sent me hand written letters! It was really fun to get them from Uncle Nate and Sarah's family on my mom's side and Uncle Monte and Megan on my Dad's side! Thank you for all your great support and of course my awesome family and the new clothes they sent me. I am going to look like a greenie with my new clothes! Funny enough, because I am still getting taller my parents had to send me new pants! Hahaha. 
Every where I go I still get comments about how tall I am, as most Filipinos are height challenged. It is really funny!  If only I had a peso for every time someone referenced how tall I was, hahaha.

Things went really well this week with Elder Aldridge recovering from his Dengue. Our members are so awesome and working so hard with us. The thing that means the most of all, our investigators are doing so well and making wonderful progress towards conversion!

Things are great! It is so fun to teach these people how to come unto Christ and experience true joy and then watch them actually apply what they are learning in their life.

For example, when Bro Peter told us that they were not going to be able to go to church because the don't have any pamasahe or money for transportation, I then read to him from the Book of Mormon to help him understand the importance of God's commandments. We read Moroni 7:33.

The next morning we were in church, they had not come into the chapel yet and we were a little worried that they wouldn't be able to make it. But as we were singing the opening hymn, "There is sun shine in my soul today" I looked over at the window and saw Bro and Sister Martin and I nearly did a dance! I am so proud that they made the sacrifice to come to church! It filled me with joy!

Seeing people make sacrifices to live the gospel is one of the most fulfilling thing about being a missionary. I have seen many members as well make many sacrifices.

Here in the Philippines most members have to travel far distance to go to general conference and it is very expensive. I know that I took advantage of it at home when I could just turn on the TV and lounge around the house.
Maybe we can skip a soccer game or two or make time in our busy schedule to listen to our living prophets and apostles.

I know that the Lord asks sacrifices from us, but the blessing is always greater than the sacrifice. I have felt that in my mission! I thank the Lord every day that I have the blessing and privilege to be here! At first I thought it was a sacrifice but now I see it is a blessing!

I love you all so much!
Mahal kita!

Elder Murdock

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 64

Hello Family and Friends,

This week has been different than any week my whole mission, a day or two we had other missionaries at our house because of reports of a tsunami heading toward the other elders area and half of the week was spent at home because my companion Elder Aldridge has dengue fever, it was a struggle to get him even to sacrament meeting. It has been a week of little work and has really made me realize how much I love what I am doing! I love being out with the people and love teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I just love being a missionary and serving the Lord and serving others. The past few days have made me realize that not too far in the future my calling is going to change and I will be going home! That is something that I am trying to push out of my mind. 
Even through this hard experience of my companion being sick we have had so many small tender mercies or small non coincidences that have made things so much easier and smoother. Members buying us groceries and medicine, visiting our investigators for us and being good support. Investigators canceling appointments and going to church, bringing their friends that we could teach.
The great thing about doing the Lord's work is that he cares just as much for the instrument as he does for the work. He is teaching us great lessons of patience and trusting in him. I know that He cares and his hand is in all things!
I ask you all to pray for Elder Aldridge that he will heal quickly from this nasty disease.

I love you all so much,

Elder Murdock

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 63

Hello Family and friends!

This week was a good one. I love hearing from all of you and enjoy reading all that is going on in your lives! Honestly I often forget about my life before my mission, but it is very refreshing to remember and treasure all the people I love back home in the states.
We are working so hard and have been blessed more than we deserve. It is hard to explain, but I know we are receiving help. My companion Elder Aldridge is really great.  He is so focused and obedient and a great missionary but because of his special circumstances he doesnt' speak any Tagalog.  However challenging, I find it amazing that when he teaches our unity is so great that even though he doesn't understand what I am saying when I teach in Tagalog, it is almost as he knows and continues right where I dropped off. I translate his words and also feel guided in the words I use and sometimes I don't fully comprehend what I am saying. I know that the spirit of the Lord is with us.

One great lesson I learned this week was about sustaining and supporting our leaders.
I will be the first to admit that sometimes I have an attitude. Sometimes I get critical with others and especially myself. One of my leaders in the mission that is my district leader made me frustrated this week about how he was treating my companion and I. It appeared to us like all he cared about was if our statistics in our work were high, we got the impression that he didn't care about us nor the people we were teaching.  During this time we taught a member who had been offended and didn't go to church because of something that a church leader did many years ago. As I sat listening to him I was surprised what came out of my mouth when I said these exact words of course in Tagalog :) : "I have a special assignment for you brother, tonight look in the mirror and say : I am not perfect, I make mistakes, I allow others to do the same."
I thought that was weird but didn't think much of it until that night, I got off the phone with my leader, I made some smart comment to my companion about how his actions were bothering me. After I was finish complaining my companion smiled and said those words once again to me. I am not perfect, I make mistakes, I allow others to do the same." I realized all at once the lesson was really for me. Whenever I feel hurt or angry at others actions, including my leaders I remember this powerful but simple learning experience.

Anyway I love you all so much, I pray for you. I feel your prayers and support and I thank you for your love,
yours always,